Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership (WEP) announced to SJWCD at our Special Meeting in November that funding had been received for the collaborative Pagosa Gateway Project. SJWCD funds WEP and supports its activities in the San Juan River watershed.
The Town of Pagosa Springs announced in its January 2024 newsletter that a contract with FlyWater, Inc. had been approved to achieve the construction of the Gateway project. (https://www.flywater.com)
WEP recently commissioned a Non-consumptive Water Needs Assessment from Lotic Hydrological (https://lotichydrological.com) in Carbondale, Colorado. The in-depth water study was used at all stages of the planning process for the Gateway Project. Link here to Lotic’s Non-consumptive Water Needs Assessment. Lotic_WEP_PhaseII_Report_&_Appendices
The Pagosa Gateway Project will construct a series of interventions to improve an approximately 2.1 mile section of the San Juan River, just upstream from the Town of Pagosa Springs and downstream from Running Iron Ranch. (The Running Iron Ranch is jointly owned by San Juan Water Conservancy District, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, and Colorado Water Conservation Board.) The project will address the negative impacts of decreasing stream flow on the aquatic habitat and is approved by all affected landowners. The well-researched project is designed to improve the river’s resilience in the face of climate change. All non-consumptive water uses are being considered, like the environmental needs of the river and recreational needs of the community.
According to the Town of Pagosa Springs, “project design is expected to be about 60% complete by summer 2024.” Summer design work will continue, allowing for additional fieldwork and study of environmental and cultural impacts. Construction will begin in fall 2024. Completion is expected in fall 2025.
WEP’s funding goal, $1,246,160, was reached with support from the US Bureau of Reclamation, Town of Pagosa Springs, Trout Unlimited, Southwestern Water Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, Pagosa Tourism Board, San Juan Water Conservancy District, Friends of the Upper San Juan, and Colorado Water Conservation Board.